Monday, September 10, 2007


Best Win
Texans 20 - Chiefs 3
Texans wideout Andre Johnson continues to make his case for the league's best receiver, new backfield Matt Schaub and Ahman Green were efficient, but what made this is biggest win in Texans history is, during a week when Reggie Bush had 47 total yards and Vince Young had 78 yards passing, Mario Williams racked up two sacks and a fumble return for a TD in a dominant win over a playoff team from last year... It looks like the carriage has turned into a pumpkin for Damon Huard. Maybe he only has the mentality of a backup; it's like he performed better last year when he was just a caretaker. Now that he has a young guy breathing down his neck, he's not avoiding the turnovers like he was last year.
Game Ball: Mario Williams, 5 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 1 TD

Worst Loss
Panthers 27 - Rams 13
The Panthers dominated the second half in this NFC dark horse matchup but the headline from this game is that Rams left tackle Orlando Pace may be lost for the year. Of the three notable running backs who skipped the preseason, also including Clinton Portis and LaDainian Tomlinson, Stephen Jackson had by far the worst game with 61 yards and two lost fumbles, matching last year's total... Both of Carolina's backs put the ball on the ground, but they ran the ball effectively and Steve Smith took second year DB Tye Hill to school. Jake Delhomme, whose starting job is on the line this year, was efficient and had plenty of time to throw.
Game Ball: Steve Smith, 7 receptions, 118 yards, 1 TD, 1 rush, 2 yards

Worst Win
Redskins 16 - Dolphins 13
The Redskins have revealed their identity for 2007: run the ball, and play physical on defense. They controlled the tempo with an impressive 191 yards on the ground, even with Jon Jansen, the longest tenured Redskin, suffering an incredibly painful looking injury early. Now do they play the undrafted rookie out of Maryland, Stephen Heyer, at RT, or do they look to activate veteran Todd Wade, who couldn't cut it at LG? Randle El looked like he might be the #2 WR they've needed since Albert Connell left in free agency, coming off a year where he was better than his numbers. The Skins should have put that game away much earlier, but that's a product of being conservative on both sides of the ball... Trent Green looked fine after a brutal preseason, despite not involving Ginn in the passing game. The Dolphins have to be discouraged about the way they ran the ball: 3.3 yards per carry. They also need more young defensive players to step up.
Game Ball: Rocky McIntosh, 12 tackles, most of them violent, 1 sack

Best Loss
Packers 16 - Eagles 13
McNabb was awful, Favre made some flukish completions, but the Eagles still should have won this game if it weren't for two huge turnovers on punt returns, directly resulting in the Packers only TD and the game winning field goal. Look for Correll Buckhalter, the only Eagle with a return without a fumble yesterday, to get a shot at returning punts next week... The Packers offense wasn't in sync, but their defense was dominant. They've got one of the top five or so defensive lines led by ends Aaron Kampman and Kris Jenkins' brother Cullen, and feature Nick Barnett, who looks on the verge of a breakout year.
Game Ball: Nick Barnett, 13 tackles, 1 interception

Best Team
Patriots 38 - Jets 14
Tom Brady was a ridiculous 22-28 passing, and one game into his career as a Patriot Randy Moss has the most yards receiving in a single game for anyone catching passes from Brady. Missing Pro Bowlers Richard Seymour and Rodney Harrison, the Patriots still held the Jets to 60 yards rushing and had 5 sacks. Junior Seau got a snap at fullback late and helped clear the way for a Heath Evans TD... Jets fans cheered Chad Pennington's injury late in a classless move; they do have the best backup QB in the NFL but there's a reason Pennington is the starter. The Jets generated zero pass rush; the Patriots have a very good offensive line but you've got to make adjustments to at least pressure Brady occasionally, maybe stunt some LBs or bring Kerry Rhodes (he had 5 sacks last year) on a delay.
Game Ball: Randy Moss, 9 receptions, 183 yards (4th most in debut with team), 1 TD

Worst Team
Steelers 34 - Browns 7
There were times yesterday that the Browns looked like they shouldn't be on the same field as the Steelers. On the highlights it looked like the Browns weren't covering any of the Steelers receivers, and Pittsburgh dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage, getting six sacks and allowing one. Roethlisberger had 4 TDs on 12 completions, largely because the Browns couldn't tackle... Reports of Jamal Lewis' comeback season were greatly exaggerated. 35 yards on 11 carries with a fumble. Cleveland has their easiest matchup defensively until week 8 with their home game against the Bengals next week, so if you don't see Brady Quinn next week don't expect to see him until week 8, after their bye, at St. Louis.
Game Ball: Ben Roethlisberger, 12-23, 161 yards, 4 TDs, 0 Ints, 1 rush, 2 yards, 1 sack

Best Offense
Lions 36 - Raiders 21
Are you ready for me to blow your mind? The 36 points allowed by the Raiders were the most they've allowed since Halloween, 2004! Since that game the Raiders are 9-32. Last year the Raiders were third in the league defensively despite their archaic offense. 2nd round pick Zack Miller is the only rookie to show up on the box score for the Raiders: the #1 pick is unsigned, the #3 pick was cut, the #4 pick was inactive, the #5 pick had no yards on 2 punt returns... They almost blew a big lead, but the Lions have to feel good about being 1-0 and having a lot of different guys make plays yesterday. Calvin Johnson looks like a stud, but I'd worry about how much money Roy Williams is going to want now when his contract is up.
Game Ball: Dewayne White, 7 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception

Best Defense
Vikings 24 - Falcons 3
Same old Joey Harrington. The good news: he threw 2 TDs. The bad: they were to the other team. D'oh! The Vikings D doesn't have any holes besides depth; last year's first rounder Chad Greenway is finally in the lineup after missing last season with a knee injury sustained covering a kickoff last preseason. I would take Adrian Peterson over Reggie Bush in a second. He looked electric and in hindsight maybe should have been the pick at 3, 4, or 5 to Cleveland, Tampa, or Arizona, respectively... It's inevitable that the Falcons will end up with Brian Brohm next year, reuniting him with Bobby Petrino. The Falcons have some players, it's just going to take them some time to adjust to losing their quarterback on the same timeline as when the Dolphins lost Ricky Williams.
Game Ball: E.J. Henderson, 8 tackles, 2 sacks

Worst Moment
Broncos 15 - Bills 14
Kevin Everett's body went limp after a hit on kickoff coverage in the third quarter providing the most gruesome image of week 1. The Bills also lost CB Jason Webster to a broken arm, LB Coy Wire hurt his MCL, and S Ko Simpson broke his ankle. The Bills were the only team held to under 200 yards in week 1. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play? Marshawn Lynch looked sharp in his debut and figures to be in a season long race for ROY with Peterson (I'm discounting Calvin Johnson's chances)... The Broncos miss Rod Smith. He's one of the greatest blocking WRs ever and a steadying influence for an offense. Travis Henry is looking like he'll have a huge season during which he'll probably have a illegitimate kid or two. Jay Cutler threw for over 300 yards against a good defense. Elam's game winner was the most exciting play of the day.
Game Ball: Javon Walker, 9 big receptions, 119 yards

Biggest Achilles'
Titans 13 - Jaguars 10
The Titans rushed for 282 yards on the supposedly sturdy Jaguars D, much of it right up the middle against their huge tackles. Vince Young had less than 80 yards passing but that was probably part of the game plan. Chris Brown and fatty LenDale White split carries, but Brown had almost three times as many yards, 175 to 66... The Jaguars were effective in all aspects of the game besides run D, but now they're the only team in a tough division at 0-1. 1st round picks Matt Jones and Reggie Williams (inactive) don't have a catch, but some rookie named John Broussard has a 50 yard TD.
Game Ball: Chris Brown, 19 carries, 175 yards, 1 catch, 3 yards

Most Overrated Win
Chargers 14 - Bears 3
San Diego beat the defending NFC champs at home in unimpressive fashion. Their O line looks like a shadow of what they were last year. 1st round pick Craig Davis doesn't look like the answer at the X receiver, but 2nd round pick Eric Weddle looks like a keeper at safety. It also looks like a wise move holding onto Michael Turner, who is a great change of pace back... Benson looked indecisive, as did Grossman. But at least Grossman didn't lose a fumble, which Benson and his backup (the other) Adrian Peterson did. It looks like they miss Thomas Jones. Da Bears are the only 0-1 team in the NFC North.
Game Ball: LaDainian Tomlinson, 17 carries, 25 yards, 1 TD, 1-1 passing, 17 yards, 1 TD, 7 receptions, 51 yards

Most Overrated Loss
Cowboys 45 - Giants 35
Much will be made of the Giants injuries and the fact that they got shredded by Tony Romo, but it sounds like Brandon Jacobs is the most serious and he should only be out 3 weeks. The Cowboys will be a tough team this year and they match up well against a leaky Giants secondary. Manning held up against a tough pass rush... The Cowboys were missing their best cover corner (Terence Newman) so they can put a positive spin on giving up 35. They've also got to be thrilled with the Browns looking atrocious since they have their first round pick. Darren McFadden as their lead back next year, perhaps?
Game Ball: Tony Romo, 15-24, 345 yards, 4 TDs, 1 Int, 3 carries, 11 yards, 1 TD

Least Surprising
Seahawks 20 - Buccaneers 6
The Seahawks look healthy and happy. All their stars had big games (Hasselbeck, Alexander, Peterson, Kerney) and they might top the NFC power rankings after being overlooked all offseason... Tampa Bay just looks flawed. They're old, yet rebuilding. They've worn out ROY winner Cadillac Williams, who will be playing with a flak jacket when he comes back from bruised ribs, and ROY runner up Michael Clayton, who's never equaled his output from his rookie year. They need multiple good, young players.
Game Ball: Julian Peterson, 7 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery

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